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The Best Workouts for Your Body Type

November 13, 2014 8 min read

Each one of us ladies have a specific body type. Some of us are long and lean and some of us are curvy. Rather than fight against our body shape, we should work with it. Knowing what exercises work for your body shape and fitness level can help you set and reach your goals. Let's breakdown the 4 major body types and what moves will target your problem areas the most effectively!

There Are 4 Different Types to Be Exact

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  1. Pear
  2. Straight
  3. Curvy
  4. Atheletic

As we have our own different body types, certain things work for our bodies that may not help other body types. Also, there are specific areas to work on or to tone while working out, not to mention, certain exercises that can enhance our figures.

Here are the best workouts for your body type

To maximize your results, no matter your shape, add in the following cardio session in addition to the workout for your body type:

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Body Type: Pear

Characteristics:

  • Petite up top, narrow shoulders
  • Smaller bust
  • Bigger around your hips, bottom or thighs
  • If you gain weight, fat gets stored around your lower half
Celebrity Examples:
  • Rihanna
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Shakira
  • Tyra Banks
Goal:
  • Balance is the key, draw the eye and balancing what’s below.
  • Minimize hips and thighs and make sure top half flows through the bottom half.
Workouts
  • Walking Lunges: 
    1. Step forward with first leg. Land on heel then forefoot.
    2. Lower body by flexing knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor.
    3. Stand on forward leg with assistance of rear leg.
    4. Lunge forward with opposite leg.
    5. Repeat by alternating lunge with opposite legs.

  • Inner Thigh Lifts: 

    1. Lie on your left side, flat against the floor.Rest your head on your left upper arm.
    2. Bend your right (top) leg at the knee and cross over in front of left leg. Rest your right arm on your right hip.
    3. Keep your left leg straight. Using inner thigh muscle (adductor), lift left leg 6 inches off floor. Keep left toe in flexed position (not a pointed position). Exhale (breathe out) as you lift your leg.
    4. Using resistance with the inner thigh muscle (not gravity), slowly lower your leg. Inhale (breathe in) as you lower your leg.
    5. Repeat entire sequence on your right side, step 1-9 (working right adductor muscle).

  • Squat Jumps: 

    1. Squat down until your knees are bent about 90 degrees.
    2. Immediately swing your arms overhead and jump upward as high as you can.
    3. As you land, gently bend your knees and sink back down into the squat position.

  • Glute Kickbacks: 

    1. Get into a quadruped position with all four limbs on the floor.
    2. Your hands should be lined up directly under your shoulders and your knees should be directly under your hips.
    3. While keeping your knee bent, lift up one knee off the floor and drive your leg up toward the ceiling until your thighs become aligned with your torso.
    4. Lower your knee back toward the floor, and immediately move onto the next repetition.
    5. Perform all repetitions on one leg before switching to the opposite leg.

Body Type: Straight

photo 2 (1)

Characteristics:

  • Ruler straight body types.
  • Straight/boyish builds are similar to athletic types in that they also carve a fairly square silhouette.
  • Tend to have a tough time getting muscle tone.
Celebrity Examples:
  • Kate Middleton
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
Goal:
  • Add some curves
  • Focus on tightening their core. Making your core smaller will give an illusion of an hourglass type figure.
  • Increase weight training to add lean muscle mass to their butts.
  • Upper- and middle-back exercises will help un-hunch a square-body-type’s shoulders, lessening the frail-looking frame.
Workouts:
  • Russian Twists: 

    1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.
    2. Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight, but don’t let it curve.
    3. Place your arms straight out in front of you with your hands one on top of the other. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your ribcage.
    4. Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through center and rotate to the right. This completes one rep.
    5. Do 16 full rotations.

  • Sumo Squats: 

    1. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, holding a medicine ball in front of your chest.
    2. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your heels on the ground and your back straight.
    3. Press back up to standing. That's one rep.

  • Dumbbell Side Bends: 

    1. Grasp dumbbell with arm straight to side.
    2. Bend waist to opposite side of dumbbell until slight stretch is felt, no more than 6 inches usually.
    3. Lower to opposite side, same distance and repeat.
    4. Continue with opposite side.

  • Single Leg Bridge Extensions: 

    1. Lie on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the ground.
    2. Press up through the feet to go into a “bridge” so that your bodyweight rests in your feet and shoulders.
    3. While in this position, extend one leg completely before placing it back down on the floor while lowering your body from the bridge.
    4. Alternate which leg extends each time you go up into the bridge.
    5. The backs of thighs (hamstrings) and glutes are the main targets during the bridge, while you will feel the leg extension in your quadriceps.

Body Type: Curvy

photo 2 (1)

Characteristics:

  • Balanced beauties who fill out a bikini top and bottom.
  • Tends to gain weight all over.
  • Lacks all-over muscle tone.
Celebrity examples:
  • Kim Karashian
  • Scarlett Johannsen
  • Salma Hayek
  • Sofia Vergara
Goal:
  • Focus on thighs and upper arms.
  • To keep a shapely yet firm figure, curvy body types should pay special attention to their extremities.
Best workouts for this type:
  • Burpees: 

    1. Begin in a standing position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Now, lower your body into a squatting position, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
    2. Kick your feet back so that you are in push-up position. Keep your hands firmly on the ground to support your body.
    3. Lower your chest to do a push-up. Bring your chest back up.
    4. Kick your feet back to their original position. Stand up, and then jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead.
    5. Repeat.
  • Side Plank: 

    1. Lie on your left side with your knees straight.
    2. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Position your elbow under your shoulder.
    3. Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
    4. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Your head should stay in line with your body.
    5. Hold this position for the prescribed amount of time while breathing deeply. That's one set.
    6. Turn around so that you're lying on your right side and repeat.

  • Mountain Climbers: 

    1. Start the exercise by lying face down on the floor.
    2. Straighten out your arms and then touch your knees down to the ground or floor.
    3. Now you are ready to lift yourself up into position. When doing this, be sure that your hands are directly under your chest at a width that is slightly more than your shoulder length distance.
    4. Once you have settled into position and checked the position of your hands you should be sure to keep your legs stretched out, ensuring that they are properly lined up with the rest of your body. Pay special attention to your knees as many people tend to create a gap here but that should be avoided. If the recommended position is uncomfortable for you, it is alright to modify it slightly as long as you maintain the correct posture.
    5. Now you should stretch out your left leg for stability. Bend your right knee and bring it up in the direction of your right hand. At this point, you should be in a similar position to the one you would be in if you were climbing a mountain or tree (hence the name) except horizontal instead of vertical.
    6. After bringing your right knee up, return it to the original position and do the previous step with your left leg. (Once again, bend the left knee and bring it up towards the left hand mimicking the actions of a mountain climber)

  • Push Ups: 

    1. Get into a plank position with hands planted directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width apart). Ground the toes into the floor to stabilize the bottom half of the body. Engage the abs and back so the body is neutral. In other words, flat as a… plank (ah, now we get it!)
    2. Begin to lower the body—back flat, eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck—until the chest nearly touches the floor. (Note: Some experts say a push-up isn’t a push-up unless the chest actually grazes the ground). Don’t let the butt dip or stick out at any point during the move; the body should remain flat from head to toe all the way through the movement. Draw the shoulder blades back and down, while keeping the elbows tucked close to the body, so the upper arms form a 45-degree angle at the bottom of the push-up position.
    3. Keeping the core engaged, exhale as you push back to the start position as explosively as possible without leaving the ground (pow!). That’s one!

Body Type: Athletic

photo 2 (3)

Characteristics:

  • Often short-waisted (and maybe a little thick-waisted)
  • Square silhouettes
  • Lower ratio of fat to muscle than curvy or pear-shaped body types.
Celebrity Examples:
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Jessica Biel
  • Hayden Pantierre
Goal:
  • Generally don't need too much toning.
  • Tummy-tightening core moves, along with lower-body exercises that shape the glutes and thighs, are the perfect complement to this already strong build.
Best workouts for this type:
  • Skater Lunges: 

    1. Perform a reverse lunge with your back leg slightly at an angle.
    2. Leap to the side and bring the opposite leg behind you, only tapping your toe to the ground.
    3. Immediately jump back the other direction and continue alternating until you feel the burn.
    4. Form check: Keep your knees bent and stay as low as possible to really work your quads.

  • Side Lunges: 

    1. Stand with your feet set about twice shoulder width apart, your feet facing straight ahead.
    2. Clasp your hands in front your chest.
    3. Shift your weight over to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees.
    4. Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor.
    5. Your left foot should remain flat on the floor.
    6. Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left. Alternate back and forth.

  • Oblique v-ups:  

    1. Lie on your left side, legs angled 30 degrees from your hips.
    2. Rest your left arm on the floor and put your right hand behind your head
    3. Lift your straight legs off the floor, bringing your torso toward your legs
    4. Slowly return to start. That's one rep.

  • Reverse crunches: 

    1. Lie on the floor and place hands on the floor or behind the head.
    2. Bring the knees in towards the chest until they're bent to 90 degrees, with feet together or crossed.
    3. Contract the abs to curl the hips off the floor, reaching the legs up towards the ceiling.
    4. Lower and repeat.
    5. It's a very small movement, so try to use your abs to lift your hips rather than swinging your legs and creating momentum.
Article and photos adapted from: Women's Health

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